Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Stopover

"He hadn't been expecting to meet anyone, but then he'd seen the beauty in the back row and felt his senses fly out of him."

-The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Sweater dresses are sexy. It was the first thing that came to mind when I saw her power walking through the airport terminal in Burbank. The gray matter was clinging, strangling her body except for the her legs, white against it's dark, gracefully carrying her to wherever she was going.

Around the corner and she was gone. Some minutes of boredom followed, the only thing keeping me busy was scanning the room.

Then she was back, leaning against the wall, unable to find a seat. I made my way over to her to get a better look. Curly hair. Actually, more wavy. We both moved again, this time to seats facing each other.

She could feel me looking at her. We exchanged pleasantries in line before she boarded. We were on the same flight.

I was close to the last in line, but found her in the back of the plane, sitting by herself against the window. Southwest lets you board and exit in both the front and rear of the plane, she had an exit strategy. Clever girl.

I sat next to her in the middle seat, glanced at her airport paperback (Patricia Cornwell) and settled on her legs. They were crossed, her smooth calves angled towards me. A horrible torture.

We were joined by a stumbling, comb-over fool who took the aisle seat. One look at him and only word: upheaval.

The girl in the sweater dress wouldn't take her eyes off the book, the pages kept turning but it never occurred to me that she was actually reading. My eyes were trained on the window. I was pretending to enjoy the sky high view, when I was really just looking at her. Finally at a chapter break I started talking to her.

Easy conversation, some laughs and considerable interruption from the louse next to me.

"Sorry, man. Didn't mean to screw up your game."

I had a stopover in Oakland on the way to Reno and she was getting off.

"Can I get your number?"

"Don't take this the wrong way, but don't you think I'm too old for you."


"Oh, okay."

She gave me her number and her name: Gillian with a "G."

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